Historic Preservation Commission welcomes youngest member

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Logan Bries, son of Marty and Jane Bries of Guttenberg, has collected antiques since age nine. (Press photo by Molly Moser)

By Molly Moser

High school senior Logan Bries of Guttenberg recently became the newest – and youngest – member of local historic preservation commission. He keeps his own ever-evolving collection of antique objects and documents, and has a genuine desire to get involved in the community.

“Not only can I help protect historical buildings, which I care about a lot, but I can learn how the city itself works,” said Bries, who served as a delegate in Guttenberg for the 2016 presidential election and an alternate in Clayton County. He would eventually like to be a national delegate, and after studying business at the University of Dubuque hopes to get into politics.

Bries has been collecting antique items since he was nine. “I really got into it when my grandpa passed away by going through his house and finding all these really cool things,” he told The Press. His collection includes military and medical antiques, books, uniforms, and paper documents. 

The Clayton Ridge senior traveled to Rome with a school group in June of 2015, where he found a set of French law documents penned in 1773. “I think that’s one of my most unique items, because the shop I bought it from had been started 200 years ago by three priests from France, and the documents had come with them.” The handwritten pages detail the sale of an estate.

German friends helped Bries translate a 1909 German diary that contains poems and songs written by its original owner. He’s the youngest member of the Garnavillo Auction House, where he purchased an Edison cylinder phonograph. 

One of his more unusual pieces is an Ellis micro diameter. He describes it as an object of medical quackery from the 1930s-40s. The machine uses various attachments (which Bries points out he does not have) to deliver a ‘healing’ electrical shock.

As a part of the Guttenberg Historic’ Preservation Commission, Bries has been helping member Dorothy Wille interview elderly Guttenberg residents about their memories of growing up in the area. He films the interviews for archiving, and recounts an unusual memory from one Guttenberg resident. “A hobo in town lived where they used to throw trash, and he used to go around getting the good things and selling them,” said Bries. “His name was Bill the Bum.”

The commission is also working on a brochure for a walking tour of historical buildings in Guttenberg. “I think this is important because not only are they really amazing and beautiful buildings to look at, but they show us the past. If people take them down, thinking, ‘I can’t fix this up’ or, ‘It’s an eyesore,’ or, ‘We can put something better here,’ then you’re elimination the history of the town and what we started from,” said Bries.

Logan is the son of Marty and Jane Bries of Guttenberg. He recently became a godfather for the second time when his older sister, Miranda, had a daughter. Bries has worked at Bender’s, enjoyed track and cross country, and now is an employee of the Guttenberg Care Center. He and classmate Alex Simon started a fundraiser for Catholic schools called Sancta Cardinal, where customers could purchase sunflower seeds for bird feed and the profits benefited schools. 

Bries will finish out the term of a previous member of the commission, and two new seats will also be added to the five-member group. “I’m really hoping I can bring something new to the commission and help make improvements,” he said. 

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